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REF 2014 – School of Environmental Sciences

The School of Environmental Sciences has come 10th in the UK for its research according to a major Government analysis released on 18th December.

35% of research by the School was scored as 4* (world leading) - the highest quality – with 52% assessed as 3* (internationally excellent) in the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

We are the 3rd placed department in the UK when ranked by the volume of world-leading research achieved and 5th placed in terms of research ‘power’. The impacts of our research were judged to be predominately world leading and ranked 1st in the UK, while our research environment was entirely world leading or internationally excellent.  

Professor Kevin Hiscock, Head of the School of Environmental Sciences said:

“I am absolutely delighted by the School’s outstanding achievements in the REF2014 exercise which recognises the truly world-leading quality of our research in terms of overall performance and the far-reaching impact of our research in several significant policy areas.  The results demonstrate the reputation of the School of Environmental Sciences as a world-leading and internationally excellent centre for impactful research in the environmental sciences.”

The quality and impact of research carried out across all faculties at the University has improved dramatically over the last six years.

REF2014 ranks UEA 21st among mainstream British universities, or 28th out of 154 when specialist institutions are included. UEA is one of the biggest climbers with a rise of 12 places since the last assessment in 2008.

The results show that more than 82 per cent of UEA research is now classified as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ - compared with 50 per cent in 2008. This confirms UEA’s position as a premier research institution across the arts, sciences, health and social sciences, making a substantial impact on the global challenges facing society.

REF is a periodic national exercise by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to assess the quality and impact of research at UK universities. The results are used to allocate around £2 billion of research funding to universities each year.

Research was submitted to REF2014 under 36 separate areas of study, or Units of Assessment, and eight UEA subjects have made the UK top 10.

This is the first time that the ‘impact’ of university research on economic growth, health and social well-being, and improved quality of life has been assessed alongside overall quality.

The comprehensive results for UEA along with an initial analysis are available to all staff here - Further detail about REF2014, including a series of case studies showing the impact of UEA research, is available here: